"Artist Jan Robert Leegte (b. 1973) has recently explored the overwhelming nature of AI-generated worlds with Performing a Landscape (2020), a live installation comprising a storm-soaked landscape generated in front of the eyes of the public. Screens and projections offer a fragmented experience of the virtual landscape, leaving the viewer terrorized and disorientated by apparently preternatural forces. The spectator’s perspective is that of one submerged underwater, “safe” from the ensuing cataclysm overhead.
To view the work in situ is to experience an artist’s rendering of digital landscape mediated by romanticism for a pre-internet past — a conflicted scene, torn apart by unseen winds, populated by ruins — a scene perfectly suited to a nineteenth-century picture gallery.
Leegte’s installation puts the viewer in the shoes of the angel of history as expressed in Paul Klee’s (1879–1940) Angelus Novus (1920). Famously described by Walter Benjamin (1892–1940), the angel — facing into the past — can only experience the accumulated consequences of catastrophe while being dragged into the future."
In Episode IV. Arcadian Dreams: AI-Generated Worlds from the Sublime to the Beautiful by Filippo Lorenzin. Read the full article here.
Publication date: 22 Jan '21